Fall, Hiking Guides

Hike Nederland to Winter Park

Also known as Devil’s Thumb Pass, this spectacular trail is the Front Range equivalent to the popular Crested Butte to Aspen hike located in the Maroon Bells Wilderness. Connecting the Hessie trailhead in Boulder County to the Devil’s Thumb trailhead in Grand County with a breathtaking climb over the scenic Continental Divide, the 12-mile (one way) Over The Divide hike offers experienced hikers the chance to conquer a memorable backcountry trek in just one weekend.

The Over The Divide hike, located in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, features panoramic mountain vistas, spectacular flora and fauna sightings and a portion of the famous Continental Divide Trail— a bucket list item for hikers worldwide. And with proximity to the Denver/Boulder metro area, this backcountry adventure can be accessed easily with just a short drive to the trailhead near Nederland.

This autumn, Winter Park Resort wants to help make your thru-hiking dreams come true by offering a Trek and Stay package—just in time for the fall hiking season and the stunning color changes that come with it. This is an amazing opportunity to avoid the leaf-peeper traffic jam and experience the changing of the season on foot—without having to haul your overnight camping gear over the mountain. The Over The Divide hike gives you a front row seat to the blue skies, sunshine and golden groves of Aspen trees that Colorado is known for, and Winter Park gives you a hot shower and cozy bed.

At 12-miles each way, this trek would normally require an overnight stay with advanced reservations and backcountry permits, as well as hauling extra supplies like camping gear. Winter Park Resort is excited to help lighten your load by removing the hassle of such pesky logistics by inviting you to stay overnight at the Vintage Hotel at the halfway point of your trek.

 

An early start from the Hessie Trailhead near Nederland ensures a full day of exercise, fresh air and photo ops. You’ll meander past forests of Aspen and pine trees, through meadows full of wildflowers and around picturesque alpine lakes and ponds. Hikers have also reported many sightings of moose, elk, fox and marmot along the way. Find a sunny spot to enjoy lunch on the shores of the trail’s namesake water feature, Devil’s Thumb Lake, before climbing to the rocky top of the Continental Divide (about 6.5 miles from your starting point) by early afternoon to ensure clear skies. 

After a seven mile descent alongside the gurgling Cabin Creek you’ll arrive at the Devil’s Thumb Trailhead in Fraser, where a Winter Park Resort shuttle will whisk you away to the Vintage Hotel in Winter Park Village. You’ll mingle with other hikers over complimentary drinks before enjoying a restful night sleep and all the comforts of home. You’ll be relaxed, refreshed and ready to hop on the resort shuttle back to the Devil’s Thumb trailhead with your fellow trekkers to tackle the return route back to Nederland the following morning. Who said weekend warriors had to rough it?

Knock this off your bucket list and book now.

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